Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How NAKED do you like your chocolate?

Stripping it down to just three ingredients is naked enough for me...

The term 'Naked Chocolate' is definitely not a new one.  A book, several articles, businesses and even websites have been given this name. And simply typing 'Naked Chocolate' into a Google search engine will pop up all sorts of results, the most prominent being a book by David Wolfe and Shazzie published in 2005, which discusses the idea that cacao, the bean used to make chocolate, is a 'superfood' and how we can benefit from eating chocolate made from unroasted or raw cacao beans.

There is also the Naked Chocolate Cafe in Philadelphia and the Canadian NaKeD Chocolate shop in Peterborough, Ontario who use the name to define that they work with pure chocolate and ingredients. And b naked chocolates from Arizona make chocolate truffles with "the purest chocolate, organic raw cacao" and no dairy, no refined products, vegan and gluten free, thus making it 'naked'. 

A California woman, Margaret Floyd, wrote in 2011 about a very tasty raw chocolate called Sweet Nuit, that she considered it to be 'naked chocolate' because it was 100% raw and sweetened with coconut sugar and Jerusalem artichoke. This is similar to the concepts that David Wolfe and Shazzie offer in their book. She also believes in the food being organic, homemade and unrefined to prevent nutrient depletion.

There are others who consider chocolate that is 'naked' to simply be solid milk, white or dark chocolate that has no added fruits, nuts, coffee or other flavours and additives (other than perhaps vanilla and an emulsifier like lecithin).

My idea of 'naked chocolate' is a little different than the viewpoints mentioned above.  I believe that chocolate can be considered 'naked' when it has only three ingredients: cacao beans, cacao butter and cane sugar.  And naked milk chocolate, in my world, would have only four ingredients: the above plus milk. With only those ingredients, you can taste the true cacao flavour without masking it with flavourings, such as vanilla or artificial vanilla, or with additives like soy lecithin or hydrogenated oils. 

To me it is still 'naked' even if made from raw or roasted cacao beans, as long as it is mildly processed, smooth or relatively smooth, and contains minimal natural sugar. Because what we know by the name 'chocolate' today is processed in some way, it is usually smooth and it does contain some sugars. But stripped of all additives that are only meant to enhance, change or manipulate its flavour, that is what I call NAKED CHOCOLATE.

People are the same as chocolate. You can dress them up, change their flavour and flair, add perfumes, brush their hair or add jewelry to them, but take all that away and what are they? Naked.

Here are some of my favourite naked chocolate bars:

Raaka Virgin Chocolate (Brooklyn, NY)
85% dark Dominican Republic
Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, organic turbinado sugar, organic cacao butter

Hummingbird Chocolate Maker (Ottawa, Ontario)
70% Venezuela bar, 70% Peru bar and 70% Hispaniola bar
Ingredients: Organic Cocoa Beans, Sugar & Cocoa Butter

Soma chocolatemaker (Toronto, Ontario)
Soma makes a whole series of bars, including their Chuao 70%, their entire 'exploration box' and their Arcana 100% bar is as naked as chocolate can get.
Chuao 70% Ingredients: cacao beans, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter.

Potomac Chocolate (Woodbridge, VA)
Upala 70% bar and Upala 82% bar
Ingredients: cacao, sugar

Original Beans (Amsterdam)
Piura Porcelana 75% chocolate bar
Ingredients: Direct-trade cacao beans*, cacao butter*, cane sugar*. *Certified organic.
May contain traces of nuts, lactose and soy. Vegan. Gluten Free.

Chocolat Bonnat (Voiron, France)
Puerto Cabello (Venezuela) (75%) chocolate bar
Ingredients: cacao, sugar. May contain tree nuts, milk, eggs and or derivatives.

***
Important Notes (well, not really):

If you arrived at this article because you were searching the term "naked chocolate" for reasons other than eating chocolate, sorry to disappoint! But there is a link on the second page of Google Search Results on 'Naked Chocolate' that may just be for you.

There is also a funny article on page 4 of the Google Search results dated February 3rd of this year about a naked burglar who was covered in chocolate and peanut butter when they were caught and arrested....too funny not to check out.

And have you seen the recent M&Ms commercial?  Now even our cute little chocolaty friends are getting naked on t.v. What's up with that?

5 comments:

  1. Just tried a President's Choice 70% Fair Trade Dark Chocolate bar made from chocolate from Peru. There are only 4 ingredients (3 of which are from cocoa beans) and no lecithin or vanilla (unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, low fat cocoa powder.) so this counts as naked chocolate! See www.pc.ca for more information.

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